Tag Archives: Ribbon Cutting

April 27, 2017 • Newsletter

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Pure Physique PilateZ Studio and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Center on Thursday, April 20. The Center is located at 14815 W. Bell Road. Pure Physique PilateZ offers a variation of pilates equipment and a full barre studio. Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation offers IV nutrition, anti-aging, injury management, medical weight loss and much more. Welcome to District 5!

Pure Physique PilateZ and Reflexion Medical Rejuvenation Ribbon Cutting

Surprise Police Department Annual Appreciation Celebration

The Surprise Police Department held their annual Police Appreciation Celebration on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Surprise. The theme for this year’s event was “The Thin Blue Line – the line between order and chaos.” Police Department employees and family members, along with City Directors and their families and Councilman Roland Winters and I joined together to show appreciation for and to recognize employees and volunteers of the Surprise Police Department who, through their commitment to excellence, have helped make the Department what it is today.

Chief Terry Young expressed his sincere appreciation for the hard work, professionalism, and dedication of the employees and volunteers to the Police Department and to the City of Surprise. Dr. Dennis J. Tyner, Vice President and Provost of Ottawa University AZ, was the Master of Ceremonies. The 2016 award winners were as follows:

Civilian of the Year – Yolanda Zamora; Supervisor of the Year – Jennifer Guthrie; Officer of the Year – Tyler Johnson; Rookie of the Year – Michelle Cain; Detective of the Year – Kristy Coats; Citizens Patrol Volunteer of the Year – James Gearns; Volunteer of the Year – Tina Jennings; Medal of Merit – Russell Jurn; Police Shield – Adam Layton; Lifesaving Award – Joanna Massimillo-Vallet.

WHAM Recycle Arts Festival

WHAM Art Association hosted their Recycle Arts Fest: Exhibit & Fashion Show on Saturday, April 22 at WHAM Community Art Center, 16560 N. Dysart Road. The free neighborhood event was well attended and included a Recycle Arts Exhibit and Eco Styles Fashion Show. Thank you to WHAM’s Executive Director, Connie Whitlock, and her team for having this event each year!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce held their monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, April 25. The meeting included a panel discussion on Economic Development led by featured speaker and moderator Jim Rounds. Economic Development Director Jeanine Jerkovic served as a panelist. Discussion surrounded how cities have been prioritizing economic development opportunities with limited financial resources and how the West Valley cities are taking a regional approach to attracting companies and jobs.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Fundraising Event

The Surprise Police Explorer Post #2236 is partnering with a local business, Chipotle, for an upcoming fund raising event. The event will be held at Chipotle, 13869 West Bell Road in Surprise, on Friday, April 28 from 5 – 9 p.m.

Please remember to bring in a copy of the flyer (view flyer) or show a copy of the flyer on your smart phone or other electronic device in order to help the Explorers raise money (50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Surprise Police Explorers).

Chipotle is located on the southeast corner of Litchfield Road and Bell Road in Surprise.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

Come shop at the semiannual Surprise Super Swap Meet on Saturday, April 29. More than 50 vendors will have new and used treasures on display from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Surprise Aquatics Center, located at 15831 N. Bullard Avenue. Parking and admission are free.

The Surprise Swap Meet is sponsored by the Human Service & Community Vitality Department and the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. For more information, please call 623.222.1500.

Surprise Safety Day

Join us for Surprise Safety Day on Saturday, May 6! It’s a fun, interactive and educational event focused on the city’s public safety services, water safety and more! The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Avenue, and will showcase emergency vehicles and equipment and feature interactive exhibits and live demonstrations on water safety, CPR and the city’s public safety services.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will be conducting free swim lesson assessments and swim team tryouts during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring a bathing suit and towel; the pool is heated.

Surprise Safety Day is hosted by the Surprise Aquatic Center in partnership with the Surprise Police and Fire-Medical departments and is presented by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information about Safety Day, swim lesson assessments or swim team tryouts, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.


Did You Know?

2017 General Obligation Bond Election

The Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee met on April 19. The Committee was briefed by city staff on proposed capital improvement projects that may be included in three separate bond questions this fall.

Staff will present the proposed projects to City Council in a May Work Session. Pending Council approval, a Call to Election vote would be scheduled at a Regular Meeting in June. If approved, Surprise voters would decide on three possible General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation in a mail-ballot only Special Election on November 7, 2017.

Proposed Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $35 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation/ & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $29 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $22.9 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway, Litchfield and Cactus roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $19 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Proposed Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $24 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $20 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

City Council Work Sessions begin at 4 p.m. and Regular Meetings begin at 6 p.m. They are open to the public and carried live on Surprise TV and online www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11. All meeting agendas are posted online at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting at www.surpriseaz.gov.

2017 Surprise Retail Survey Results

The City of Surprise launched a retail survey in March that garnered more than 3,000 responses!

Thanks to our engaged community, we were able to collect data that helped to identify the city’s retail strengths, as well as opportunities to bring additional amenities closer to home.

Select survey insights are available below, with full results available at www.surpriseaz.gov/retailsurvey:

Top 10 Desired Restaurants

In-N-Out Burger
Portillo’s
Sweet Tomatoes
Pita Jungle
El Pollo Loco
Cracker Barrel
Cheesecake Factory
Café Zupas
Whataburger
Rubio’s

Top 10 Desired Retailers

Costco
Hobby Lobby
Whole Foods
Home Goods
JoAnn’s Fabric
TJ Maxx
Old Navy
Total Wine
IKEA
Bath and Body Works

Top 10 Local Favorites – Restaurants

Babbo Italian Eatery
Rio Mirage
Vogue Bistro
Saigon Kitchen
Nick’s Diner II
Oregano’s
Big Buddha
State 48 Brewery
Jim’s Burgers and Eggs
Irish Wolfhound

Top 10 Local Favorites – Retailers

Kimbur’s Pet Wash
Kohl’s
Musical Surprise
Target
Son Glow Boutique
Walmart
Stein Mart
Bling Tour
Home Depot
Ross

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey! The Surprise Economic Development team will now use the results to guide their retail recruitment efforts.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

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March 30, 2017 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotional ceremony on March 23, 2017 to recognize the promotions of Lieutenant Norman Owens, Sergeant Michael Jalbert and Property and Evidence Supervisor Sarah Welch.

Lieutenant Norman Owens began his law enforcement career in 1996 with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Throughout his service with MCSO, Norm served as a detention officer, patrol deputy, and a narcotics detective with the MCSO Special Investigations Division. Lieutenant Owens joined the Surprise Police Department in 2001 and has served as the Off-Duty/Training Coordinator, Field Training Officer, Detective, Training Unit Officer, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and most recently as the Department’s Public Information Officer.

Sergeant Michael Jalbert joined the Surprise Police Department in August of 2005 and has served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer and Detective. Sergeant Jalbert is currently serving as a Field Training Officer and is on the Department’s SWAT team.

Sarah Welch began employment with the Police Department in February 2007 and has been an integral part of the Property and Evidence Unit for the past 9 years. Sarah was instrumental in the implementation of the Department’s gun trade-in program and the electronic barcode evidence tracking system.

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch
Pictured from left to right: Lt. Norman Owens, Sgt. Michael Jalbert, Sarah Welch

Congratulations to all of them on their promotions!

Cal Ripken Day at Surprise Stadium

Surprise Stadium hosted a parade for our city’s Cal Ripken players on Saturday, March 25 prior to the regularly scheduled spring training game. This is one of my favorite events every year as it provides Council an opportunity to welcome the players for another season. This year, there are 140 teams, 1,800 participants and 350 volunteer coaches. Thank you to Paul Frie, Community and Recreation Services Recreation Division Manager and Arizona Cal Ripken Commissioner, and his team for their work each year putting together this successful program!

National League of Cities Debrief

I met with staff on Monday, March 27 for a post-trip debrief on the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. In addition to the sessions attended by staff and Councilmembers, we had a series of highly productive meetings aimed at accomplishing several objectives. Some of those objectives included the request of support from our Congressional representatives for opportunities related to funding the transportation needs of our growing city and collaborating to identify ways to meet transit and transportation needs in Surprise in a fiscally pragmatic manner.

In order to continue the conversation relative to transit and transportation needs in Surprise, Council will consider a request in the FY18 budget discussions to fund a demand study which will identify both transit demands and appropriate solutions to meet those demands. This item will be considered along with the other requests for funding in the coming fiscal year.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Breakfast Meeting

Councilmembers Jim Hayden, Ken Remley and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast meeting on Tuesday, March 28. Scott Phillips, Vice President of Carefree Partners Investments, provided an update on City Center. The goal of Carefree Partners, in partnership with the City, is to create a downtown, walkable city center from scratch.

A project of this caliber will take patience and perseverance as we try to build the right mix of commerce, culture, recreation, entertainment, ingenuity and energy. Retail trends have changed due to the popularity of online shopping, and we are diligently working on an ever changing model. The future downtown will include major employment, Ottawa University, dense residential living, a multitude of entertainment and food options plus much more. In summary, this is a very unique public private partnership for a project of this size in the state, if not the entire country.

Surprise Literacy Challenge

The Surprise Literacy Challenge this year utilized partnerships with Surprise Friends of the Library and the local branch of the Maricopa County Library District to bring an engaging program to the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from Surprise. Through the use of bingo cards with 25 various challenges, students were engaged in literacy in many new and unique ways beyond just reading a book.

Ten schools participated this year with more than 2,200 students taking part of the challenge. I’m happy to report that the winners are Arizona Charter Academy’s 4th grade class led by Mrs. Wernet, Cimarron Springs’ 5th grade class led by Ms. Mohaupt and Kingswood Park Elementary’s 6th grade class led by Ms. Johnson. Congratulations!

Celebrating Expansion in Surprise

Luv 2 Play hosted a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, March 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, face painting, balloon artists and much more! Luv 2 Play is an indoor playground and arcade for children ages 0-12. They also have menu options for parents and kids alike! For more information, please visit http://luv2play.com/surprise/.

Christopher Todd Communities broke ground at the future Christopher Todd Communities on Greenway project. The area is located on the southwest corner of Greenway and Litchfield roads. This project will offer 136 one and two-bedroom private rental residences with a gated entry, charming detached homes with front and backyards, optional detached garages, community park with a pet washing station and a community pool. There will be 56 one-bedroom and 80 larger two-bedroom floor plans.


Mark Your Calendar

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

If you’ve been holding on to unwanted paint, electronics and other hazardous waste; mark your calendar for the City’s next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, April 8.

This event is free and for Surprise residents only. Please bring a driver’s license or utility bill to show proof of a Surprise home address.

Drop-off is at the Public Works Maintenance Yard, 13433 W. Foxfire Drive (from Bell Road, turn north on Dysart and follow signs to the entrance off Foxfire), from 8 a.m. – Noon.

Acceptable items list:

  • Antifreeze, car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, diesel and fuel additives
  • Brake-transmission-power steering fluid, degreasers
  • Pool chemicals, fire extinguishers and gas cylinders
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Stain, varnish, turpentine, cleaners, adhesives
  • Paint, paint thinners, solvents, cleaners, adhesives
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other lawn chemicals
  • Freezers, refrigerators (no RV refrigerators with ammonia)
  • TVs, electronics, cell phones, computers, stereos
  • Up to 5 auto tires (no rims and no truck tires )
  • Washers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, dishwashers and evaporative coolers

The following items will NOT be accepted:

  • Regular refuse and bulk trash
  • Bio–medical waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Ammunition or explosives
  • RV refrigerators that contain ammonia
  • Radioactive material

For more information, check out www.surpriseaz.gov/HHWevent or call 623.222.6000.

Taste of Surprise

The Rotary Club of Surprise will host the Taste of Surprise event at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, April 8 from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will showcase some the West Valley’s best foods and include a beer and wine garden and live entertainment. This event is designed to be fun for the entire family!

The 2017 Taste of Surprise proceeds will benefit five local non-profits including One Step Beyond, Surprise Youth Foundation, Benevilla, A New Leaf, and Rotary Club of Surprise Community Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at the event or online. To purchase tickets online, please visit http://www.tasteofsurprise.com/purchase-tickets.html.


Did You Know?

Greenway Road – Litchfield Road Intersection Improvement Work to Begin

Drivers can expect lane restrictions around the intersection of Litchfield and Greenway roads from March 30 through May 8 as crews perform utility work and correct a dip in the intersection.

A full closure of the intersection is planned for the final weekend of the project. The intersection will close Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. and reopen Monday, May 8 at 5 a.m.

This work will complete the final phase of the Greenway Road Improvement Project. Last summer, the city completed the widening portion of the Greenway Road project between Litchfield Road and Bullard Avenue; the project also included landscaped medians, drainage improvements and sidewalks.

For more information, please call 623.222.6000.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

March 2, 2017 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Project

Last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) released a final weekly update. The opening of the new Grand Avenue ramps connecting to the Bell Road overpass on February 16 was the last major milestone for the project. While there is still some work to complete, ADOT and its partners are pleased to have opened all the new connections at the interchange, allowing much-improved traffic flow for the region.

The project team will complete permanent lane striping on sections of new pavement along Grand Avenue on March 5 and March 6. Crews also will finish minor work on signage, landscaping and signals as the project comes to an end.

While the construction took place in Districts 4 and 5, it affected people throughout the city. I wanted to personally thank each of you for your patience during the project. The major project went off with relative ease thanks to ADOT and members of our internal project team who effectively communicated weekly status reports to our residents and provided City Council, staff and residents with monthly updates at City Council meetings as well as attended dozens of HOA meetings to ensure our residents’ questions were answered. Thank you to each and every one of you.


Events & Meetings

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Arizona Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of their Surprise branch on Thursday, February 22 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening event. This is their first branch in the Northwest Valley. They are a member-owned financial service organization with 14 branches throughout the valley.

Arizona Federal Credit Union Ribbon Cutting

Mountain Vista Ranch Annual Party

I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Annual Party on Saturday, February 25. The event was well-attended and provided me an opportunity to talk to many constituents.

Opening Day @ Surprise Stadium

Councilmembers and our Spring Training volunteer organization, Surprise Sundancers, celebrated opening day at Surprise Stadium on Saturday, February 25 along with a full stadium of attendees. Welcome back, Rangers & Royals!

Surprise Youth Council Event

On the night of Saturday February 25, you may have seen an array of multi-colored lights in the sky and heard the sound of laughter and dance music cascading down from the 4th floor of the Civic Center parking garage. This was Level 4; the first annual social event planned and executed by the Surprise Youth Council, featuring music, dancing, a host of games like air hockey and old school arcade favorites, live art, food, and much more. From 6 to 9 p.m., more than 220 teenagers from high schools all around Surprise came to dance, eat, and socialize with friends in a positive and unique environment unlike any other in the City. Part dance club, part rooftop party, Level 4 provided teens with the experience of an exciting big city event here in their hometown. The City of Surprise’s Youth Services Division is committed to developing Level 4 into one the City’s signature youth events, growing our youth’s sense of connection to their community and the City’s reputation as an innovative and forward thinking organization that is truly invested in the quality of life of our youth. Stay tuned for more exciting events, programs, and initiatives coming out of Surprise’s Youth Services Division.

Economic Development Event @ Surprise Stadium

I attended an event hosting the retail industry during a spring training game on Wednesday, March 1. The event provided elected officials and city staff the opportunity to network with several retailers in advance of the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference later this spring.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Police Explorers Host “Tip-A-Cop” Event

The Surprise Police Department Police Explorer Post 2236 will join forces with the staff at the local Outback Steakhouse Restaurant, located at 14225 W. Grand Avenue, in order to raise donations in support of the their growing program. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 4 – 8 p.m.

The Explorers are inviting the public to join them at the event and help support their fund raising efforts during this “Tip-a-Cop” event. So, come meet some of the Explorers and enjoy some of your favorite food. Remember to bring your change to tip your “server” and make a donation/contribution to help the Explorers raise funds to support their growing program.

Click here to learn more information about Surprise Police Explorer Post 2236: http://ow.ly/VqYMc

Citywide Text Amendment to Chapter 113

The City is currently in the process of updating its Sign Code and seeks your input.  A series of outreach meetings are being scheduled during the month of March.  The first of those meetings will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8 at the Surprise Regional Library, 16089 N. Bullard Avenue.  View meeting details…


Did You Know?

Valley Vista High School Girls Basketball Wins State Title

Valley Vista High School Girls basketball won the 6A Conference state championship at Grand Canyon University Arena on February 28. They beat Goodyear Millennium High School 44-36 in the championship game! Congratulations to all of you on this exciting win!

West Valley Agencies Join Together To Enhance Police Services

In April 2016, the Surprise Police Department and many other police departments located throughout the West Valley came together to form a coalition to enhance their efforts in serving citizens experiencing a mental health crisis.

The importance of enhancing these police services and providing additional training was recently highlighted in the 2015 release of the Final Report of the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing”. The report outlined six pillars; including Pillar Five: Training & Education. This pillar discusses training of police officers in many different areas of discipline, but particularly outlined the importance of providing proper training to police officers in regard to their response to crisis intervention and other mental health issues.

As a result, the West Valley Crisis Intervention Team Coalition (WVCIT) was formed. The coalition is currently comprised of the following police agencies: the Surprise Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, the Goodyear Police Department, the Peoria Police Department, the Avondale Police Department, the Tolleson Police Department, the El Mirage Police Department, and the Buckeye Police Department.

City Ambulance Service Grows

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department now has a second city-run ambulance in operation, advancing its goal of becoming the primary provider of emergency transport in the city. Surprise Fire-Medical launched its ambulance service in November 2015 with one ambulance running out of Fire Station 305 at Greenway Road and Parkview Place. In just one year of operation, that ambulance responded to nearly 2,500 calls for service.

Funding for two new ambulances was approved by City Council through the 2017 budget. One of those ambulances now operates out of Fire Station 302 near Reems Road and Mountain View Boulevard. The other new ambulance has replaced the one at Fire Station 305. The used ambulance from station 305 now serves as a backup when one of the new ambulances needs to be serviced. Private ambulance companies continue to supplement the coverage needed throughout the city.

“Our community is growing and our needs are changing,” said Surprise Fire-Medical Chief Tom Abbott. “We are constantly analyzing those needs and taking action to ensure we can continue to deliver the best possible response times and premier patient care.”

Learn more about Surprise-Fire Medical at www.surpriseaz.gov/fire.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

November 3, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Bell Road will remain closed between 134th Avenue and West Point Parkway until November 22, pending weather conditions and other unforeseen factors that may affect the target date.

Full closure scheduled on Grand Avenue:

  • US 60 (Grand Avenue) closed in both directions between Dysart and Litchfield roads from 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, to 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, to paint the Bell Road bridge. Traffic will be detoured at Dysart and Litchfield roads.

Work continues this week on the following:

  • Installation of barrier and lighting on new bridge.
  • Paving the east side of the new bridge.
  • Building the new median ramps from Grand Avenue to Bell Road.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


City Council Work Session

FY2016 Financial Status Report

Assistant Finance Director Jared Askelson presented the 2016 fiscal year end Financial Status Report. Local sales tax exceeded original estimates by $400,000; state shared revenue increased by $200,000 due to stronger than expected vehicle license tax; charges for services exceeded original estimates by $1.4 million due to increases from spring training, community development, and public works revenues. Due to the approximate increase in revenues and decrease in expenditures, the estimated General Fund balance is $3.3 million higher than originally anticipated.


City Council Meeting

Neighborhood Grant Program Recommendations

Human Service and Community Vitality Director Seth Dyson provided the Committee on Community Outreach, Partnerships & Grants funding recommendations for the Neighborhood Grant Program. The Committee recommended funding for Marley Park (Veteran Commemorative Plaza) for $3,000 and Sanalina HOA (water conservation and playground equipment) for $3,000. The City Council unanimously approved funding.

The Committee has extended the grant program through November 30, 2016. If you are interested, please visit https://www.surpriseaz.gov/3406/Neighborhood-Grant-Program.

Reopening of Bell Road – Celebration Activities

The City of Surprise is preparing activities to celebrate the reopening of Bell Road and thank local businesses, residents and visitors for their patience during the closure. The activities are scheduled for November 21. Specific event details will be available soon. Arizona Department of Transportation announced earlier last month that the target date for the reopening is scheduled for November 22.

The Bell Road/Grand Avenue corridor is still an active construction zone. While Bell Road will reopen on November 22, Grand Avenue will be inaccessible from the Bell Road bridge and vice versa. A detour route will be in place to allow for connection between those roads until project completion in early 2017.


Events & Meetings

New Real Estate Brokerage Office – Ribbon Cutting

Council Members Jim Hayden, Todd Tande and I joined members of the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting celebration of the Leolinda Realty office in Sun City Grand on Wednesday, October 26. We wish her the best in her new office!

ribbon cutting

Torque Trends Unveils Electric City Truck

President and CEO of Torque Trends, located in the AZ TechCelerator, hosted the unveiling of the converted City of Surprise Ford F-150 work truck to an electric engine on Wednesday, October 26. The conversion allows the truck to travel between 50 to 75 miles before requiring a charge, therefore saving money and reducing our carbon footprint.

City of Surprise electric truck

Annual Legislative Breakfast Meeting

City Council Members John Williams, Rachel Villanueva, Jim Hayden and I joined staff, state legislators and local business leaders at our Annual Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, October 27 at Surprise Stadium. This year, the focus was on economic development partnerships, our Veteran Job Club success, and our upcoming legislative agenda. The state legislators included State Senators Don Shooter and Judy Burges as well as State Representative David Livingston.

GAIN Night

GAIN Night was held on Saturday, October 29 at 8-Acre Park, and the event had record-breaking attendance. Representatives from public safety and city management were present, and the Water Resource Management Department provided a demonstration on solid waste and water resources.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The fall Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for Saturday, November 19. More than 70 vendors will be onsite at the popular community-wide swap meet, sponsored by the Surprise Senior Center Site Council. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, 15831 N. Bullard Ave.

Annual Surprise Party

The Annual Surprise Party is scheduled for Friday, December 2 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, located at 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. This free event features fun for the entire family. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents.


Did You Know?

Fitch Upgrades Surprise Revenue Bond and Long Term Default Ratings

City Manager Bob Wingenroth announced Tuesday night that Fitch Ratings, one of the “Big Three” nationally recognized credit rating agencies, has upgraded the city’s Excise Tax and State-Shared Revenue Obligation (ETRO) bond rating to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’. A city’s credit rating is important due to its impact on interest rates in the bond market. A better rating means the city can sell bonds to finance capital projects and pay a lower interest rate to the buyer.

Fitch stated the “rating reflects a solid coverage cushion and expectations for strong pledged revenue growth.”

Fitch also upgraded the city’s Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) to ‘AA+’ from ‘AA-’.

In reviewing the city’s economic base Fitch noted, “The city’s 2015 population of 128,422 has realized a rapid 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past 15 years and its median household income exceeds that of the U.S. by 16%.”

In commenting on the city’s operating performance Fitch reported, “Fitch expects Surprise to maintain a high level of financial flexibility through economic downturns based on its ample revenue raising capacity and solid financial flexibility, supplemented by its ample reserves.”


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

September 1, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue weekly project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Pictures below are courtesy of ADOT.

Work continues as follows:

  • Eastbound Grand Avenue roadway is being reconstructed.
  • The retaining wall panels of the bridge over Grand Avenue will continue to be built for the next few months.

**City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.**

As always, please allow plenty of time and observe all traffic control signs and barricades. Thank you again for your patience during this project. For more information, please visit the project website at www.azdot.gov/bellandgrand or you can contact ADOT’s project hotline at 855.712.8530, press option #1.


Events & Meetings

Youth Services Administrator Interviews

Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, Councilman Roland Winters and I joined staff to interview the final three candidates for the Youth Services Administrator on Monday, August 22. Former Youth Services Administrator Paul Bernardo has accepted a promotional opportunity within the city which led to this opening. Congratulations to Paul!

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Meeting

I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, August 23. City Manager Bob Wingenroth provided a city update. With many thanks to him and the staff, there are many great things happening in Surprise.

City Manager Bob Wingenroth

Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference

The Arizona League of Cities & Towns Conference began on Tuesday, August 23. This conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with other Council Members throughout the state, network with agencies who work with Surprise and help build the momentum the City Council has been able to achieve.

Part of this year’s conference included meetings with Cox Communications regarding digital contour and EPCOR regarding their plans to combine their water districts. In addition, I was able to attend several sessions including the impact of military bases in Arizona, how communities can make progress toward a future workforce, and innovative programs that have shown success for cities. City Council attended a focus group discussion on why our youth leave the State; Surprise was represented by our very own Surprise Youth Council (SYC) Member Samantha Salazar. Following the youth session, members of SYC competed in the Democraseed Challenge and placed third in the challenge. The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship partnered to with the Challenge to foster creative civic engagement projects. Congratulations to our SYC team!

Councilman John Williams and I received service awards during the Legislative and Service Award Luncheon on Thursday, August 25. Congratulations to John on his years of service. I have enjoyed serving with you!

Boards & Commissions Interviews

Councilmembers Rachel Villanueva, Roland Winters and I interviewed candidates for the City’s current Boards & Commissions vacancies. Recommendations will be made to the full City Council at the regular City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 6. There are two vacancies on the Disability Advisory Commission, one vacancy on the Board of Trustees, two vacancies on the Personnel Appeals Board, two vacancies on the Planning & Zoning Commission and three vacancies on the Tourism Advisory Board.

Desert Premier Home Realty Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

District 5 has another new business! Desert Premier Home Realty celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, August 30. Desert Home Premier is a real estate agency that focuses on homes for sale in Surprise, Sun City, Sun City West, Peoria, Goodyear, Avondale, Glendale, Scottsdale and other areas near Phoenix. Best wishes to the owners, Jay and Lynn Otlewski, on their new location!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Civic Center Hosting Two Art Events

It’s an evening of art at Surprise Civic Center on September 8. Experience a showcase of fine art photography at Surprise City Hall, followed by an art exhibition at Arts HQ.

The City of Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission is hosting an event featuring the photography work of artist Archie Tucker in the Mayor’s Atrium of Surprise City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, from 4-5 p.m. Then from 5-7 p.m., Arts HQ presents the opening reception for its exhibit, Exhibicion de Arte, at its gallery located at 16126 N Civic Center Plaza.

Both events are free. For more information on the showcase, please call 623.214.7537. For more information on the Arts HQ exhibit, please call 623.584.2626.

Free Marketing Workshop

If you are looking for tips and tactics to promote your business free of charge, the city is hosting a Guerilla Marketing workshop on September 8. The workshop will be taught by marketing and business author Al Lautenslager, and each attendee will receive a copy of his book, “Market Like You Mean It”.

The workshop will be held from 10-11:30 am at the AZ TechCelerator-Building D, located at 12425 W. Bell Road. To reserve a spot, please call 623.222.3322.


Did You Know?

Primary Election Results

Surprise voters elected two new city councilmembers in Districts 2 and 4, returned an incumbent to District 3 and re-elected the mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.

The news is based on preliminary, unofficial results reported by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Running unopposed, Sharon Wolcott was re-elected as mayor, having received 14,243 votes or 97% of the vote.

In District 2, Jim Hayden defeated incumbent Vice Mayor Jim Biundo, with a vote tally of 3,289 votes (57%), versus Biundo’s 2,483 votes (43%).

In District 3, incumbent Councilmember John Williams defeated Gisele Norberg. Williams received 1,057 votes (57%) to Norberg’s 781 votes (43%).

In District 4, with 998 votes (57%), Ken Remley defeated incumbent Rachel Villanueva who received 754 votes or (43%).

All positions carry a four-year term, expiring December 31, 2020. New terms begin on January 1, 2017.

All results are preliminary until all of the ballots dropped off at City Hall on Election Day and all Provisional Ballots are counted. A final ballot tally is expected by September 5th, if not sooner, from the Maricopa County Elections Department.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

November 20, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update

The City of Surprise has a unique and largely undeveloped planning area full of potential for recreation amenities such as open space, trails and new facilities. With the assistance of Community & Recreation Services (CRS) and Community Development staff, a consultant prepared current facility and program inventory, while benchmarking locally and nationally, and summarized potential deficiencies according to planning area and projected populations.

In 2014, a public survey was completed, and over the past few months our CRS Department held several workshops with the CRS Advisory Commission led by chairman Wayne Turner. Workshops included setting master plan goals, and establishing standards as well as general design guidelines and principals. Some of the goals of the Master Plan include improving the residential quality of life by reinvesting in our existing parks, promoting active recreation, sports and sports tourism and pursuing opportunities to create and acquire new parks and open space. The goal, by 2030, is to have a total of 1,200 acres of new public parks which would include one new 200-acre city park, six new 25-acre community parks and 847 acres of open space.

A draft plan has been reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission (October 2015) as well as stakeholders such as the Arizona Game & Fish Department. The goal is to update the plan and align with the General Plan update for approval in December 2015.

We are committed to providing quality parks and recreation programs and facilities while contributing to the economic well-being of the city.


City Council Meeting

Legacy Traditional School Recognition

The newest school in our community led the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday evening, Legacy Traditional School. Four students – Samantha Morris, Arianna Diaz, Jason Miller and Sasha Soto – who are part of their National Junior Honor Society were able to discuss the school for a few minutes.

Legacy Traditional School began in 2007 with the first campus in Maricopa, AZ. It was formed from a simple concept of education excellence and patriotism. Today, all Legacy campuses are “A” rated by the Arizona Department of Education and in 2015, Legacy was voted the #1 charter school by Ranking Arizona. Congratulations to Legacy for their successes, and best wishes for many more!

FY2016 Budget Status

Finance Director Lindsey Duncan provided an update on our financial status through September for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The actual collections for our General Fund revenue budget through September totaled $12.1 million which is a positive variance of 7% above the budgeted amount of $11.3 million. Local sales tax collections are currently continuing the trend that FY2015 ended on, with actuals exceeding the budget by $0.2 million (FY16 budget is $3.1 million compared to $3.3 million actual). Construction sales tax is up 57% over budget and all other local sales taxes are up 3.5% over budget. State shared revenue actuals exceed budget by $0.1 million which is slightly better than expected, as is the vehicle license tax revenue. Actuals for charges for services have exceeded the budget as well, as FY16 budget is $1.9 million compared to FY16 actuals of $2.4 million. General Fund uses are tracking $4.1 million below budget, but most of that variance is due to timing of payments rather than actual savings. Though too early to modify year end estimates, the General Fund is performing better than budgeted through the end of the first quarter.

FY2016 Budget Amendment for Dial-A-Ride Cap Increases

The City currently contracts with Valley Metro for our Dial-a-Ride service. The current cap for weekday one-way trips is 140. By increasing the cap, the City will have the ability to provide more demand service for transit to ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities.

The annual impact of increasing the weekday cap for one-way trips is $116,000 which will support an additional 5,040 one-way trips for ADA, seniors, and others with disabilities, as well as the general public. The $68,900 increase approved by this item will support an additional 3,000 one-way trips through the end of FY2016.

The City Council unanimously approved the budget amendment of $68,900 from the General Fund Contingency (one-time) to the General Fund Transit contract services. The annual increase will be submitted as part of the FY2017 budget process.

Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa Water District (MWD)

Director of Water Resource Management Terry Lowe requested consideration and action authorizing the City Manager to execute an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Maricopa Water District (MWD) for use of MWD’s Groundwater Savings Facility (GSF) to store Surprise’s Central Arizona Project (CAP) water.

By entering into this agreement with MWD, the City would avoid annual CAP underground storage charges of approximately $10 per acre foot for 2016 for water delivered to MWD’s GSF. In addition to the expected savings from annual CAP storage charges, MWD also pays for waters delivered to their service area to offset their groundwater usage. The actual amount of savings and revenue generated is dependent on the amount of power MWD saves by not having to pump groundwater. The agreement was unanimously approved.


Events & Meetings

New Park Dedications

The Surprise City Council attended the ribbon cutting celebrations for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14. Veramonte Community Park is located at 12741 N. 140th Avenue and this park now features restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and several other park amenities. The Surprise Farms Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and features a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, restrooms and other park amenities.

I’d like extend my appreciation to Mark Coronado, Donna Miller and the remainder of the CRS team and CRS Advisory Commission for all of their efforts planning and building these parks for our residents.

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

Councilman Jim Biundo and I attended the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Veterans were the focus of this meeting and the key-note speaker was Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Frana who is the Commander of the 62nd Fighter Squadron with Luke Air Force Base.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, November 18, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting with Seth Dyson, the Director of Human Service and Community Vitality, and Christina Ramirez, Neighborhood Services Manager. The City team focused on the Neighborhood Services programs such as the Surprise Academies, HOA Continuing Education, the Mediation Program, the Block Party Trailer Program, and the Summer Youth Employment Program. City sponsored events such as Community Pride Day were also discussed.

Additional conversation pertained to income-qualified programs offered by the City for painting of the exterior of houses.


Mark Your Calendar

Stormwater Public Hearings

We have begun hosting a series of public meetings to inform you, the residents, about the proposed Stormwater Utility and to gather input on stormwater management. If adopted, a utility designated for stormwater management would enable the city to cover the costs of public health and safety concerns often caused by stormwater such as flooding, which causes polluted standing water that attracts disease-bearing pests and transportation issues, such as sinkholes and premature pavement loss.

Additionally, the implementation of a Stormwater Utility will allow the city to better comply with the Clean Water Act of 1972 and the National Pollutant Discharge Systems Permit which is administered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Currently, all stormwater activities, including regulatory compliance, asset management, and capital improvement, are funded by the wastewater fund, general fund and the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF). A designated Stormwater Utility will relieve burden from those funds and will be responsible for revenue generation, operational costs and Capital Improvement Project development and management.

Residents are encouraged to attend the following public meetings to learn more about the proposed Stormwater Utility and rate structure. For the residential customer, the proposed rate would be an approximate $2 line item added to your monthly utility bill.

The next meetings will take place on December 2 from 6-7:30 pm at the Community Room at City Hall and on December 3 from 6-7:30 pm at the Villanueva Recreation Center (15660 N. Hollyhock Street). The Water Resource Management Department intends to bring this before Council in the 1st quarter of next year for action.

General Plan Amendment Meeting

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at an upcoming public hearing. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meeting:

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. For questions or to submit a written comment, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.

14th Annual Surprise Party

The City will host our 14th Annual Surprise Party on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Please join us welcome the holiday season with a tree lighting ceremony, live music, balloon glow, skydivers and fireworks on Friday, December 4 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Surprise Recreation Campus, 8 Acre Park – 15850 N. Bullard Avenue. The party will continue on Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free with a canned food donation.


Did You Know?

Department of Human Service & Community Vitality – New Director

Seth Dyson was recently hired as the new Director for the Department of Human Service and Community Vitality. This Department hosts the Neighborhood Services, Senior Services and Grant Administration divisions with the overall goal of building partnerships to improve the overall quality of life for all of our Surprise residents.

Mr. Dyson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management from Arizona State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. Before joining the City, Seth served as the Community Partnerships & Workforce Development Director for the Maricopa County Community College District. He is an Arizona native and now lives in Surprise with his family.

Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality
Seth Dyson, Director of Human Service & Community Vitality

Please join me in wishing Seth the best of luck with his new career endeavor!

Newsletter Update/Office Closing

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, City Hall will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. I will not distribute a newsletter next week.

I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and your continued support. I wish you a wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live them.” JFK


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

November 13, 2015 • Newsletter

Events & Meetings

Transportation Open House

Residents were briefed on the current and upcoming transportation projects at the November 5th Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Projects Open House at City Hall. Staff from the city and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) answered questions about more than 10 projects that are in progress or scheduled to begin in the near future.

While all of the project displays generated questions, attendees were most interested in the ADOT Bell and Grand Interchange Improvements project that will transform Bell Road into a bridge that raises traffic above Grand Avenue and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad track. Construction for the Bell and Grand project is scheduled to begin next spring, immediately following spring training.

A complete list of CIP projects discussed at the meeting and related maps can be found on the Transportation and Traffic webpage.

Marley Park Elementary School

Marley Park Elementary School students hosted a veteran’s tribute on Friday, November 6. Mr. Dennis Grau of VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West and Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame 2014 inductee was the key-note speaker. More than 50 veterans were honored and served lunch immediately following the ceremony. A special thank you to the Marley Park Elementary School administration and students for the invite to this wonderful event!

Surprise Eagles #4534 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Councilman Roland Winters and I along with Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault attended the Surprise Eagles #4534 ribbon cutting on Saturday, November 7. This successful event was truly symbolic of the great partnership between the city and the Eagles who recently filled a vacant eyesore storefront with their new location.

Surprise Eagles #4534 ribbon cutting

I want to personally thank the volunteers who did such outstanding work cleaning and making tenant improvements to the former Palms Desert Restaurant at the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road. Thank you!

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Discussion Continues

Approximately 120 residents attended a meeting at the Northwest Regional Library on Monday, November 9 to listen to details about the Bell Road/Grand Avenue upcoming construction project. After a short presentation by ADOT’s Assistant Communication Director Brock Barnhart, the remainder of the time was dedicated to questions and answers from the residents of Surprise and Sun City West.

ADOT is currently focused on project schedule and communicating the closure. More specific information regarding the closure and detours will be communicated when the contractor is selected later this year. Additional information will be available at www.surpriseaz.gov/bellandgrand.

Bell RD. and Grand Ave. discussion Nov. 2015

Sun Village Community Appreciation Day

I took part in Sun Village’s Community Appreciation Day on Monday, November 9. Events included a golf tournament, pickle ball, shuffleboard, water volleyball, billiards, darts and duck derby. The day ended with a barbeque dinner and music. A great time was had by all. Thank you to all the volunteers who made the day so successful!

Canyon Ridge Elementary School Veteran’s Commemoration Ceremony

Canyon Ridge Elementary School hosted their annual Veteran’s Day Commemoration Ceremony on Tuesday, November 10. I am always honored to be included in this special ceremony with several other Surprise veterans. Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Policy Advisor for Public Safety and Military Affairs for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and former Governor Jan Brewer, was the special guest speaker followed by VFW Guest of Honor, Dennis Grau.

This ceremony was initiated by Christopher Raso, Social Studies Teacher at Canyon Ridge, and Dr. Shelley Isai, Principal of Canyon Ridge as well as a team of teachers at the school. Thank you for your annual recognition of our veterans and for including me in this honor.

Christopher Raso receiving coin from Dennis Grau
Christopher Raso receiving coin from Dennis Grau
Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Dr. Shelley Isai and Skip Hall
Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Dr. Shelley Isai and Councilman Skip Hall

Camino del Sol Celebration

On Tuesday, November 10, I attended the United States Marine Corps 240th Birthday Celebration and Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony. Guest speaker was Luke Koerner, Past Commandant of the White Tank Mountain Detachment #246 of the Marine Corps League.

Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony

City Council attended the Surprise Fire Medical Promotion Ceremony at Council Chambers- City Hall, on Tuesday, November 10. Many of our brave firefighters were promoted. They are as follows: Assistant Chief Brenden Espie, Battalion Chief Julie Moore, Battalion Chief Jesus Rivera, Battalion Chief Wade Rodgers, Battalion Chief Scott Smith, Battalion Chief Kevin Spirlong, Captain Douglas Hamrick, Captain Kevin Johnston, Captain Michael Payne, Engineer David Hackett, Engineer, Robert Jenkins, Engineer Jason Leboeuf, EMT Sophie Bellinger, EMT Jeremy Sbordoni, EMT Cody Swagel, Paramedic Michael Clayton, Paramedic Russell Lindholm and Paramedic Daniel Quirin.

Congratulations to each and every one of you and best of luck in your new positions!

Surprise Veteran’s Day Parade

Surprise hosted its first inaugural Veteran’s Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11. There were approximately 70 parade entries and 4,500 attendees. All the entries showed their patriotic appreciation for our veterans. We are very pleased with the success of this event. I’d like to thank the community for their support of our veterans and to Mark Coronado, Director of Community & Recreation Services and his team for their hard work preparing for it!

Navy Color Guard at 2015 Verterans Day Parade

Verterans Day Parade float

Prior to the parade, the Links Neighborhood Grill – Sun Village hosted a pancake breakfast for approximately 400-500 people. What a great turn-out!

Thank you to all veterans, past – present – future, for defending our freedom. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for your sacrifices.

Please visit https://flic.kr/s/aHskpdGTgv to see photos of the event.

Sun City Grand Veterans Day Ceremony

Sun City Grand hosted their Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, November 11. Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Jim Biundo, Councilman Todd Tande and I attended the event. The keynote speaker was Col. David Shoemaker, Vice Commander of the 56th Wing, Luke Air Force Base. A proclamation by Mayor Wolcott from the City of Surprise was given to retired Brig. General David Woellner, a WWII veteran.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Farms and Veramonte Parks Ribbon Cuttings

The Surprise City Council, the Recreation Advisory Commission and the Community and Recreation Services Department invite you to attend the Surprise Ribbon Cutting Celebration for Surprise Farms and Veramonte Community Parks on Saturday, November 14.

The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at Veramonte Community Park located at 12741 N. 140th Ave. The park will feature restrooms, a splash pad, a parking lot and other park amenities.

The Surprise Farms Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony will start at 10 a.m. The Community Park is located on the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Surprise Farms Loop South and will feature a playground, splash pad, basketball court, skate park, dog park, restrooms and other park amenities.

Surprise Super Swap Meet

The Surprise Super Swap Meet is scheduled for this Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm at the Surprise Aquatic Center parking lot, across from Surprise Stadium. Admission and parking are free.

General Plan Amendment Meetings

The City of Surprise is considering a major amendment to the Surprise General Plan 2035 and invites the public to share their thoughts at three upcoming public hearings. The Major Amendment focuses on providing a new approach to the city’s land use goals and policies by adding a Character Area planning approach and removing the Village Plan requirements that are included in the current General Plan. The draft Element documents can be found online at www.surpriseaz.gov/GPupdate.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment relative to the proposed update at the following Planning and Zoning Commission meetings:

November 18 & 19 at 6 p.m.
AZ TechCelerator
12425 W. Bell Road Suite D-100
Surprise, AZ 85374

December 3 at 6 p.m.
Surprise City Hall
16000 N Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

Written comments may also be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. All written comments regarding this petition will be made part of the public records of the City.

The meeting agenda will be available at least 24 hours prior to the Public Hearing at Surprise City Hall or on the City’s website at www.surpriseaz.gov. To submit written comments, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or for questions call 623.222.3134.

General Plan Summit

The Surprise City Council and Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission will host the 2015 Annual General Plan Summit, Friday, December 4, at City Hall.

Staff will present the city’s progress toward achieving the Surprise General Plan 2035 goals and policies, discuss the Economic Development Strategic Plan, provide an update to the OTS Heritage District and have a conversation about City Monument Gateways.

The group will also discuss recommendations regarding future initiatives to support the General Plan and Council Strategic Plan objectives.

John Lenio, of commercial real estate firm CBRE, will serve as a guest speaker providing a private sector point of view to Economic Development.

The summit, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza.


Did You Know?

Weekend Closure – Grand Avenue

The weekend closure of Grand Avenue between Loop 303 and RH Johnson Boulevard/Sunrise Boulevard will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, November 13 and conclude at 5 a.m. on Monday, November 15. The work is part of the ongoing $46 million project to improve the Loop 303/Grand Avenue traffic interchange. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016

For more information, please call 855.712.8530, or email projects@azdot.gov.

Dysart Superintendent wins Prestigious Award

Congratulations to Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick for being selected as the ASA Arizona Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Pletnick is a true leader who collaborates and partners to better her school district for the growth of all students! Congratulations, Dr. Pletnick!


Contact Me

Surprise Swap Meet - Nov. 14th

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

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September 25, 2015 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Sign Ordinance Discussion

The City of Surprise is in the process of amending City Code Chapter 113 regarding signs. At a previous Council meeting, City Council requested a series of workshops and business outreach on the proposed amendment to the Sign Code.

Sign codes are complex in nature and evoke discussion on aesthetics and community values. The ultimate approval of a Zoning Text Amendment to the Municipal Code with respect to signage has the potential of increasing business exposure through effective signage, which in turn has the potential of generating more sales tax revenue through increased sales volume. The Text Amendment also has the potential of minimizing visual clutter and increasing traffic safety. Furthermore, the ultimate approval of the Amendment has the potential of reducing staff review time as a result of a clearer, concise, more user-friendly document.

Staff will be conducting stakeholder meetings and community outreach throughout this amendment process. These meetings will follow a parallel track with the policy and general direction discussion with the City Council. Staff will also invite stakeholders and the general public to provide comments and feedback throughout the process. Stakeholder meetings will occur in October and November, with possible council action in December. Please look for further information regarding these dates in my newsletter or on our website at www.surpriseaz.gov/signcode.


Events & Meetings

Kingswood Park HOA Meeting

Staff from the Surprise Police Department and I attended the Kingswood Park HOA meeting earlier last week. Several residents were in attendance. One of the residents raised concerns regarding vandalism at Kingswood Park Elementary School. Possible solutions to the vandalism issues were discussed. Kingswood Park Elementary School Principal Jeremy St. Germaine was also present and vocalized his concerns and shared the plan for how the school will work with the HOA and the Surprise Police Department to address the issues. The background of the history between the HOA and the school was provided. Lastly, Lt. Mike Donovan reported a drop in crimes in the area of more than 30%.

Mountain Vista Ranch HOA Meeting

On Wednesday, September 16, I attended the Mountain Vista Ranch HOA meeting. Assistant Police Chief Geoff Leggett and Sergeant Tim Klarkowski were also in attendance. Sergeant Klarkowski reported an almost 6% drop in crime in the area.

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer was also present and discussed ways to discourage vehicles from cutting through the empty lot contiguous to Mountain Vista Ranch.

Valley Metro RPTA Meeting

The Valley Metro RPTA Board of Directors met on Thursday, September 17. We discussed possible changes to route 571 due to upcoming construction of Thunderbird this fall. More details will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Additionally, I was appointed as a member of the Valley Metro Budget and Finance Subcommittee.

MD24 Clinic Ribbon Cutting

Dr. Linh Nguyen, founder and CEO of MD24 Clinic, hosted a ribbon cutting and open house for his new 10,000 square foot office location on Mountain View Boulevard in District 5 in Surprise. MD24 was the first start-up business to leave our AZ TechCelerator incubator.

MD24 is a network of Physicians, Specialists, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants that provide medical services to residents in senior retirement communities. They currently serve more than 240 community locations across Maricopa County. Best of luck to Dr. Nguyen and his team on his success and with his new location!

West Valley Leaders Water Summit

On Wednesday, September 23, West Valley Central Arizona Project (WESTCAPS) held its 2nd Annual West Valley Leaders Water Summit at Estrella Mountain Community College. The event kicked-off with the Keynote address delivered by Grady Gammage. Mr. Gammage spoke about the history and current state of water in Arizona, and he outlined the efforts Arizona has taken to ensure long term water sustainability, stressing the need for collaboration in the West Valley on water issues as the area grows.

Ms. Marie Pearthree, with the Central Arizona Project (CAP), and Mr. Dave Roberts, with the Salt River Project (SRP), addressed those in attendance on role their organizations play in the West Valley. Ms. Pearthree provided an overview of CAP, the Colorado River, and the drought and the efforts being taken to mitigate its effects in the CAP service area. Mr. Roberts summarized opportunities SRP has that would help the West Valley overcome its future water resource challenges.

Mr. Jeff Tannler, with the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), discussed Active Management Area Plans and Goals in relation to subsidence monitoring and water supply and sustainability. Ms. Leslie Meyers, of the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), spoke about the Bureau’s mission and objectives to help solve water resource problems and to protect the environment in the desert Southwest. She discussed funding structures for water resource management planning efforts, and the current Basin Study process. The WESTCAPS Basin Study is currently underway with a few steps needed to complete the study.

Mr. Guy Carpenter from Carollo Engineers discussed the importance of regional collaboration relating the value of water, its impact on growth, and the West Valley’s need to work together to ensure continued economic viability. He cited two case studies that outlined projects on which Carollo Engineers has worked and the positive water related outcomes from those projects. Mr. Carpenter closed with a clear message that the West Valley Leaders need to work together to ensure long term water sustainability.


Mark Your Calendar

G.A.I.N. Night 2015

Surprise Public Safety officials invite you to attend the upcoming G.A.I.N. Night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods). The engaging community event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, October 3 from 6-9 pm at 8-acre park located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.

This event supports the Arizona Special Olympics organization so please come out and join us for this great cause. There will be free raffles and many great prizes to be won!

I hope to see you there!

Lunchtime Theater Series

The City of Surprise, in collaboration with the West Valley Arts Council, Theater Works and the West Valley Symphony announced a new 2015-2016 performing arts series, Lunchtime Theater, which will feature four lunchtime performances that will be held in the beautiful 2,500 square foot Arts HQ gallery. The season includes:

  • October 29, 2015: “Almost, Almost Maine” – Theater Works presents a whimsical story of the joys and perils of romance.
  • January 13, 2016: “Jam Session with Maestro Kellogg and Friends” – West Valley Symphony.
  • January 28, 2016: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” – Theater Works presents a musical about the contemporary conundrum of “the relationship”.
  • March 3, 2016: “City of Angels” – Theater Works presents a musical homage to the classic film.

All performances begin at Noon, at the Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ. Tickets are $9 for each performance. To order tickets, please call the West Valley Arts Council at 623.935.6384 or Susan de Jong at 623.214.7537. Each performance will be 45-50 minutes long.

Attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch or they can pre-order one from the City Café @ Surprise. To place a lunch order, please contact the City Café @ Surprise at 623.222.8900. Lunch orders from the City Café @ Surprise will be delivered to the Arts HQ before the performance. The price is $9.85 including tax.


Did You Know?

City Wins National Awards for Public Awareness Videos

The City of Surprise received two awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) during their Government Programming Awards earlier this month. The City took first and second place in the Public Service Announcement category:

The annual awards program honors excellence in broadcast, cable multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. This year, NATOA received over 800 entries submitted by local governments across the country.

Congratulations to our Communication crew who put these award winning videos together! To view additional City of Surprise videos and programming, including the coverage of Surprise City Council Meetings, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/surprise11.

Surprise Boards & Commissions

The City is looking for volunteers to fill vacancies for a few of our Boards and Commissions. The vacancies are as follows:

Arts & Cultural Commission – 1 vacancy Tourism Commission – 1 Restaurant vacancy Board of Trustees – 2 vacancies

If you are interested in any of these positions, please apply at the City Clerk’s office at City Hall. You can also apply at www.surpriseaz.gov/boards.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

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Councilman Hall attends MVD kiosk ribbon cutting at City Court

Councilman Hall attend the May 5th ribbon cutting for the new self-service MVD kiosk located at the Surprise City Court.

The kiosk offers an alternative to visiting the Surprise MVD office on Bell Road, which is temporarily closed for renovations. The kiosk provides access to select MVD services, including registration renewal, duplicate vehicle registration, duplicate driver license, change of address, and temporary vehicle permits.

Surprise City Court is located at 16081 N. Civic Center Plaza, Suite 105.

Customers can also access more than 20 services online through ServiceArizona.com.

For those in need of a full-service location, a list of MVD office locations and Authorized Third Party providers can be found online at azdot.gov/mvdlocations.

The Surprise MVD is expected to reopen this summer with increased capacity and an enhanced look in the customer waiting area, an expanded number of customer service windows and upgraded air conditioning and restrooms.

MVD Kiosk Ribbon Cutting
Robert Smith from ADOT, Mayor Wolcott, Councilman Hall and Judge Dominguez at the ribbon cutting for the Express MVD Services Kiosk located at Surprise City Court